Well tomorrow is my day of craziness. Call me nuts, but I actually look forward to Wednesdays each week. Even though they are packed with back to back events, aka chaos, I enjoy the feeling of staying busy.
Our day starts by 6:45 so that I can have Braelyn up and ready for running club, which they just increased to two days a week. Sigh. I remind myself that it is good exercise for her and it gives her a head start in being physically active. Yes, it is a good thing. Those reminders come in handy on cold late nights like tonight, where I would much rather the thought of sleeping in and catching the bus at 8:15.
So yes, first is running club. Then I rush home and get ready for the day, take Emry to dance, run errands, come home to give Emry a nap, pick Braelyn up at the bus stop, rush home to change, speed off to dance for Braelyn, come home to cook dinner, do homework, give baths, and finally FINALLY go to bed. It makes me tired just typing it.
It’s these days that I like to have dinner prepared ahead of time. The last thing I want to do when we come home from dance in the evening is think about what to cook for dinner. I make a conscious effort to pull out a freezer meal or prep something during Emry’s nap that day.
Tomorrow’s meal I am actually really excited for. It’s one of our family’s favorite “comfort foods”. Bring on the Chicken Pot Pie!
This is Braelyn’s all time favorite meal. She had been asking me for weeks to make it and I kept putting it off. Finally a few weeks ago, she said in her morning prayer, “And please bless mommy to make those really delicious chicken pot pies that I love so very much!” You bet I dropped everything I had to do that day just to make sure that wish came true.
When I made this recipe a few weeks back, I decided to make them individual sized pot pies and I froze half of the portions. You don’t know the joy that comes with knowing you have an entire extra meal in the freezer without having to lift a finger or messy your kitchen. Pure joy!
These Chicken Pot Pies have a creamy, earthy, and hearty filling with a flakey, buttery crust. Besides the pie crust, which Braelyn ends up eating most of mine as well as her own, these pot pies are fairly healthy. I use skim milk and light sour cream for the filling, with only 2 tablespoons of butter/oil for sautéing the vegetables. You don’t have to feel guilty when you polish off your ramekin.
Before I forget, you can get the perfect gluten free pie crust recipe right here. Just dial down the 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar to 2 tablespoons with this savory recipe.
So there you go, an easy weeknight dinner that can be thrown into the freezer for one of those crazy days. We all have them…especially during the holidays. Let’s just try and stay sane as long as we can.
What are your favorite frozen meals?
- 2 tablespoons butter or cooking oil
- ½ medium sized onion, diced
- 8 oz. pack sliced mushrooms
- 2 cups raw chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 16 oz. bag frozen mixed vegetables
- 2 cooked medium sized potatoes, or 1 can diced new potatoes*
- 2 cups skim milk
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons chicken boulion granules
- ½ teaspoon ground mustard
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon freshly minced tarragon or dried thyme leaves
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 oz. cream cheese
- 1 recipe gluten free pie crust (use 2 tablespoons powdered sugar instead of 3)
- 1 egg white beaten
- Prepare vegetables by dicing the onion, mincing the garlic, and rinsing the mushrooms. Cube the chicken into bite sized pieces. Set ingredients aside and heat 2 tablespoons of butter or cooking oil over medium high heat in a large pot or saucepan. Once butter sizzles with a drop of water, add onions and mushrooms to pot. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 6-7 minutes, just above medium heat, until onions are tender, stirring occasionally to avoid burning. Add raw chicken cubes and minced garlic. Season again with salt and pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes more or until center of chicken pieces are no longer pink, stirring occasionally.
- While chicken is sautéing, combine cold milk and cornstarch in a medium sized mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Add ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, chicken bouillon, ground mustard, coriander, and tarragon or thyme leaves. Stir to incorporate all ingredients.
- Once chicken is cooked through, pour mixture into saucepan. Increase heat to medium high until mixture begins to boil. Reduce heat to medium and stir until mixture becomes thickened, almost the consistency of pudding. Reduce heat to low and add sour cream, lemon juice and cream cheese. Stir until cream cheese is melted throughout mixture.
- In a microwave safe dish, heat mixed vegetables with ¼ cup of water for 3½ minutes covered. Drain and add veggies to saucepan. Drain diced potatoes, or peel and dice two boiled or baked potatoes, and add to saucepan. Stir mixture to incorporate all ingredients. Taste to determine whether you want more salt or pepper. Season to taste. Fill 8 ramekins evenly with about 1¼ cups of mixture.
- Roll out prepared pie dough and cut into circles slightly larger than your ramekins. You will need to use scraps for your last 2-3 ramekins. Just roll dough back together, flatten, and cut into additional circles. Gently place dough over each ramekin. Fold overhanging dough under and pinch edges of crust together with fingers. Use a fork to decorate edges of pies by pressing gently into dough with prongs.**
- Make 3, 1½" cuts into the top of each pie to allow for steam to escape while cooking. Brush tops of crusts with egg whites. Place ramekins on a cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until crusts are lightly browned and filling is bubbly.
- Let sit for 10 minutes and serve warm.
**If freezing, wrap with plastic wrap and then foil. Freeze for up to three months. Make slits into frozen crust and brush with egg white before baking. Bake at 375 degrees covered for 1 hour and uncovered for an additional 20 minutes.